Food blogs are some of the most POPULAR blogs on the internet, with WordPress being the most popular platform for food blogs. Between families looking for recipes on Pinterest and watching mouth-watering Reels on Instagram, people realize that food blogs could be their ticket to quit their 9-to-5 job or bring in extra income for their family.
Rather that give you a MASSIVE blog post with all of the tips, I just want to give you some quick tips to help you grow your WordPress Food Blog (7 tips to be precise). If you are already a food blogger, let me know if I missed anything!
1. Compress Images Manually and Then Compress Again Programmatically
Most website are slow because their images are much bigger than they need to be sized. When you’re editing your photos in Photoshop, Lightroom, Affinity Photo, etc., make sure that your output settings are set up in a way where you don’t lose resolution, yet still have non pixelated photos.
My Favorite settings: standard pictures never need to be more than 1200px wide unless it’s a full screen image. Set your DPI at 72 and on save, set resolution to be between 70-80. If you’re using Photoshop, using “Save for Web” will take care of many of these settings for you.
After you export your images, use a free website like TinyPng.com to shave off any additional bulk on the file size. If you’d rather go automatic on your website, you can use TinyPng’s WordPress plugin or use my personal favorite, Imagify. You can use Imagify’s automated compression via their plugin up until a point. This is what I do!
2. Use a plugin that eliminates render blocking resources, like WP Rocket
Google Core Web Vitals is the trending conversation in the blogging world. One of the reasons why many people’s websites are slow is because they aren’t eliminate render-blocking resources. You can use a free plugin like Hummingbird, Autoptimize, or W3 Cache, but if you’re wanting to truly take a leap in your speed, invest in WP Rocket.
I personally use WP Rocket because I am on one of the worst website hosts out there, but many people don’t know that BECAUSE I use WP Rocket. Should I be on my website host? Nope! But with WP Rocket, I’ll will be a okay!
3. Use a plugin that allows for lazy load on images
When a visitor’s browser loads your blog, it is wanting to load EVERYTHING at once. The easiest way to help speed up your website is to enable Lazy Load on your website. Lazy load loads the image files as a visitor scrolls the website.
If you’re using WP Rocket, you have a built-in option to enable Lazy Load. If you’re using another plugin for caching or JetPack for stats, check your settings and make sure that you have “Lazy Load Enabled” checked.
4. Use the WP Recipe Maker Plugin
Every food blog needs a place to store and display the full recipe details, such as ingredients, calories, serving size, cook and prep times, etc. WP Recipe Maker is the premier plug-in for food bloggers because it helps Google view just the recipe portion of your post, with those results appearing in Google Searches. I have worked with some food bloggers that use other plugins for managing their recipes, but most use WP Recipe Maker.
If you know another plugin that works great for you, perfect! Just make sure that you have a recipe plugin for your food blog. If not, you will suffer in search results.
5. Use MediaVine Grow Social for quick “share to” buttons
You need a way for people to share or pin your recipe while they are on the post. The best plugin that I’ve found is Mediavine’s Grow Social. I use this myself!
6. Use “Social Snap” plugin to allow pin icons to appear on images
If you decide to use Mediavine’s Grow Social premium version of the plugin, they have the option to have a “Pin”/”Share” button appear on your images. If you’re using the free version, though (like me!), you’ll need another plugin to do this. I use Social Snap’s WordPress plugin so that when people hover over images in my blog or portfolio, they are given an option to share or pin the post on Pinterest.
*Note, if you use Social Snap, make sure that you go in and turn off the floating side bar and inline share buttons because they are turned “on” automatically upon install. They aren’t good. Use Mediavine’s Grow Social for that purpose (like I mentioned above).
7. Use IndexNow plugin to help get your new blog post indexed quickly
The faster you get your post to search engines, the faster people will be able to find your post! Most people will tell you that you need to wait a couple days for Google to crawl the new post, or you can do some manual work to get Google to put your post on the indexing queue. If you use a plugin like IndexNow, though, that process can happen automatically!
So that’s it! If you are a food blogger or looking at becoming a food blogger, use these 7 quick tips to make sure that your WordPress Food Blog is functioning at full capacity.